What You Don’t Know About Financial Aid (but Should)

Colleges typically want, in addition to a share of parents’ incomes, about 5 percent of the value of their assets, plus 20 to 25 percent of the students’ (Penn settles for just 5 percent of student assets). But there are differences in how colleges define assets. Cornell, Stanford, Columbia and Duke, for example, take into account home equity.

.. In addition, the Common Application used by more than 500 colleges asks prospective students to check a box if they intend to apply for financial aid. Some independent admission consultants advise students not to check it — to wait until they are admitted before giving the college any hint they will ask for aid.

.. The promise of need-blind admission, no matter how genuine, usually has an even more profound drawback: Many colleges accept students who can pay only a fraction of the price, but most do not guarantee enough aid to make up the difference.

.. Adding to the confusion, colleges and the government label some federally subsidized loans as aid but not others, and not private borrowing. In addition, colleges find part-time work-study jobs for hundreds of thousands of needy students. Those earnings, too, are counted as aid. Should a job — with the same hours and pay as, say, a Starbucks barista — be considered aid?


Cellphones vs. Learning: The Great (& Somewhat) Pointless Debate

Asked to rate their level of agreement or disagreement, 87% of faculty members expressed some level of agreement with the idea that using a phone to send text messages or check email in class is never appropriate, Less than half the students surveyed agreed with this statement. While 48% of students supported quiet cellphone usage in class, only 13% faculty members were on board with this idea.

Classroom education has long been criticized for being disjointed from the real world. Millennials believe that classrooms without an abundance of electronic devices are even more unrealistic and artificial (p.277).

What Can You Do With a Humanities Ph.D., Anyway?

Preliminary reports released in the past few months show that 24.1 percent of history Ph.D.s and 21 percent of English and foreign language Ph.D.s over the last decade took jobs in business, museums, and publishing houses, among other industries.

.. Part of the reason we don’t see this story as clearly is that Ph.D.s who leave tend to be less vocal about the horrors of academia. “The people who end up in adjunct jobs are the most embittered about the profession,” Robert Townsend, director of the Washington Office of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and co-author of the AHA report, told me. “They are most likely to talk about how they feel about the job market and this creates a certain misimpression about the overall outcomes of humanities Ph.D.s.” Adjuncts have every reason to be angry: Apart from their abysmal pay, they are often treated as second-class citizens by their departments and colleagues.